Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cinema Tuesdays {Ask Any Girl}

From 1959 it's Ask Any Girl starring a very young Shirley Maclaine with beige hair and a whine. Shirley Maclaine plays a very, very naive 20 year old small town girl who has come to New York for a career (not a husband). I don't know what kind of a career she had in mind, since she is plagued by bad luck due to her lack of experience. She doesn't even know to put her suitcase between her legs in a crowded train station, because that creepy looking guy behind her is about to steal it. She is also constantly quoting statistics in order to win arguments.

She moves into one of those hotels for unmarried girls and accepts donations of clothing. Her new friend doesn't believe that she is only looking for a career not a husband, because she wears a girdle which acts as "bait"
On her very first interview, she gets a job at a sweater company. She can't type a letter but her boss thinks that she'll look good in a sweater.
Isn't that the cutest? I envision a DIY project in the near future.
She then meets Whatshisname and they date for many months.

He invites her up to his Aunt and Uncle's place for the weekend and she thinks that he's going to propose. She also forgets to ask whether his Aunt and Uncle will be there.

When Whatshisname makes his intentions clear, she freaks out and spends the night in the train station, even though he'd explained that he thought that she knew about the weekend in the country thing since she was an adult. Sometimes Shirley Maclaine's immaturity and naivety gets really annoying but she does have a great wardrobe.
On the train back, who should they run into but the Boss.
Naturally he leaps to conclusions and once she figures out what those conclusions are, she quits. I love that grey cardigan over there on the right, which I had never noticed until I was going through the screencaps. Too bad there isn't a close up, but don't you think that it looks like something that Mod Cloth would sell.
Her friends then get her to go to the marketing office where they work for a paid consumer test (flavoured cigarettes) in case the boss might offer her a job.
David Niven plays the stuffy older brother who is only focused on work (basically Bogart in Sabrina). Shirley Maclaine fails the consumer test because she doesn't smoke (nor does she drink) and tried to inhale. She then gets ink over David Niven's tie and he throws her out.

On her way out she meets Gig Young and his signature red vest. He plays the younger brother who likes girls and coming into work in the middle of the afternoon, but he is very charming and good with clients (basically William Holden in Sabrina). He likes her legs and gives her a job as a field research worker.
He also takes her out a couple of times, mostly because he doesn't have to work hard with her and he can rest from the night before.
Shirley Maclaine is also thrown out of the hotel because they think she's a prostitute or something and she and one of the hotel girls move in together. What she doesn't realize is that her roomie isn't really an actress. I'm going to say that she's a "good time girl" who likes loud parties and they really shouldn't be sharing a room together because Shirley Maclaine is still stuck in a small town.
Anyway, one of her friends says that she is giving up and settling because she isn't getting any younger.

So she proposes that David Niven help her by finding out what Gig Young likes in a girl so that they make attack him on the subconscious level and get him to marry her and then maybe he'll get to work on time. By the way, Shirley Maclaine's character is only 20, but her career isn't exactly going to plan so why not get married.
So, David Niven sets about by dating every single girl in Gig Young's black book as "research".
He then identifies Gig Young favourite records, perfumes, etc.
And Gig Young starts to get interested in Shirley Maclaine's new mannerisms.
David Niven also dyes Shirley Maclaine's hair and helps her try out Gig Young favourite food: Hot Chicken Mouse.
The new Shirley Maclaine is most pleasing to both brothers.
Then, you know what happens, Shirley Maclaine confesses the plot to Gig Young after he proposes and she realizes that she loves David Niven and runs away. Who would you pick: David Niven or Gig Young? I'd go for David Niven all the way.
So, Shirley Maclaine is tired of being a good girl and invites herself to Whatshisname's country house and proceeds to have ti many martoonies on the train.
Who do you think throws the first punch here?

I couldn't find any trailers or clips of Ask Any Girl anywhere and TCM has not run the film since they started broadcasting in Canada several years ago. Mr. Amazon does have a couple of very expensive VHS copies available. The film is also badly in need of restoration. I fiddled with the colour of the above screencaps in iPhoto, this is what the film really looks like now:

See, quite faded. The only readily available source that I could find for the film (which is a very funny social satire) is on this site, which requires a sign-up in order to access the person to person sharing of files. That's for those of you who have no problem with that. If you do have a problem with "rhymes with blorrent" then just think of how Mr. Turner has made more money then we could ever dream of and he still refuses to put his entire archive on affordable DVDs.


Franca said...

I want a pom pom jumper like that!

Millie Motts said...

Oh, my. Another one of my favorites! How random is it that you've also seen (and liked) the same obscure movies?!

Anonymous said...

I put this on my Netflix! I like your kind of movies!